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hot lug nuts w/ shaking steering wheel?

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  • hot lug nuts w/ shaking steering wheel?

    ok, so here's the dealio... (1992 LS all stock, could possibly have non-acura parts, only owned car for 6 months)

    I was driving home on the highway and I noticed that my tire felt like it was unbalanced, no biggie, it happens in the winter (because of ice etc. that gets frozen in the wheels) but it got worse than what ussually happens, so I pulled off the highway and decided to check whatever I could with my front tires (because the shaking was from the steering wheel ussually indicating front wheel problems). I touched the front right tire's lug nuts and they were burning hot so I went over to an empty parking lot and took off the wheel to figure out what was the part that was getting hot, and from what i could tell it wasn't the rotor (and the hub was spinning as well as any other wheel I've messed with before) but it was the part in the center of the rotor, I'd want to call it the hub but I don't know if it goes by a different name in a fwd car. I let it cool off, put it all back together, went for a quick slower test run and it was fine so I went home. When I got him, the lug nuts were ICE COLD (litterally, it's 20 degrees out, it hurt my hands). Now here's what I got from my driving that I could think of that might be important;

    this only happens on the highway up at speeds of about 70 or so (65 doesn't seem to cause it, I'm a calm driver most of the time and scared of the cops so it's been tested at those speeds a LOT).

    it feels EXACTLY like an unbalanced tire (not severly unbalanced, but def. unbalanced).

    when I hit the brakes, it doesn't stop (hence, it probably isn't the brakes).

    when this happened before, I can typically slow down and it will go away and then I don't need to worry about it any more

    the heat seemed to eminate from the hub, and the driveshaft wasn't overly hot.

    my best guess is that there is something going on with the bearings kinda like a bad fan where it gets up to speed and becomes unbalanced (and because it's at very high speeds causes a significant amount of heat). Otherwise, I really have no idea. Any ideas would be GREATLY appreciated, because I really don't know the mechanicals between the axle and the hub or inside fwd hubs. (sorry this was so long, but I wanted to get in the details, I've never heard of a problem like this before).

  • #2
    I'm thinking a bad wheel bearing, it will give a vibration and if you have a wheel bearing gone its going to cause friction within the assembly which could heat up the lugs...

    This is my guess, but its probably a logical assumption.


    • #3
      I would have to agree with the wheel bearing like you thought. The only other possibility (very remote) is a bad CV joint (outter one).


      • #4
        Hub or wheel bearing or both.


        • #5
          do a berring test, I need a new passenger side, but mine doesn't do this.


          • #6
            so check this out, it wasn't the bearings (or at least the major problem isn't the bearings). I figure'd I would post what I found out so it might help someone else out who searches the forum later on. Apparently my right front brake caliper is partially siezed. It essentially constantly stays on, but not anything noticable enouph for the driver to really notice if he/she has always had the problem (when I bought the car it probably had this bad caliper problem). When I got up on the highway, the brake caliper would be doing it's wonderful light braiking and heat up the rotors and brake pads (enouph to burn your hand VERY easily). This heated up the brake pads, and left carbon deposits on the rotors, causing a slightly warped rotor. Because the brakes are always applied, this makes the steering wheel shake just like with a warped rotor when you aren't hitting the brakes, or if you are. Before when I took off the wheel it was so cold out and I was so slow getting the jack out that the whole rotor and brake assembly had cooled before I got the whelel off to inspect it (hey, I'm a warm weather guy, and near 0 F I move slow). So, I guess thats what a slightly siezed brake caliper does! (btw, I know it's got the warped rotor thing, I can SEE the deposits on the rotors just like in that "rotors don't warp" writeup).


            • #7
              Glad you found out what it was, but..... Read this.


              • #8
                I did a few weeks ago, I think I got the gist of most of it (just using "rotors warp" because I know it's very common for people to recognize at least the phenomenon oh what I am talking about when I say that).


                • #9
                  oh yea, by the way I replaced the rotor today and it was definitely the problem, only shaking I get now is standard car stuff, makes me PSYCHED :p